Formula 1 will be able to arrange a replacement for its cancelled Russian Grand Prix with little difficulty, the series CEO Stefano Domenicali has said.
The race was due to go ahead in September but F1 announced its cancellation earlier today, saying it would be “impossible” to race in Russia following the military invasion of Ukraine.
That leaves the calendar reduced to 22 races in a year which was supposed to include a record-breaking 23 rounds. However, Domenicali told a Liberty Media investor call today that F1’s recent experience of scheduling short-notice replacements during the pandemic means they are well prepared to do the same again.
“Talking specifically about the situation this year, because of the Russian situation, I just can confirm to you that we have already proven in the last couple of years to be very flexible and not to have any problem in finding possible solutions to that,” said Domenicali. “So I can just confirm that could be an option for this year with no problem at all.”
Domenicali confirmed F1 is looking into expanding its calendar further in the years to come. “Due to the great success that F1 is having the possibility of having new races in the future is still very big,” he said.
“With regard to possible venues for the future we can just say that there are a lot of discussions going on. We need to make a lot of choices for the strategic markets that we believe are the right ones for Formula 1.
“But for sure we can expand the calendar because technically speaking, as you know, we can go up to 25, that is written in our regulations, the Concorde Agreement, and the teams will follow our vision on that.
“Something we don’t have to forget is this year will be 23 races, the highest number of races in the history of Formula 1. So I think that we can watch that in the right way, taking the right decisions. We are not in the rush for that, it’s just a matter of tuning in all the different possibilities that we have in front of us.”